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Conditioning leather boots

rabiesinfrance

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Traditional wax shoe polish doesn't do the job - within an hour it has pretty much come off (I'm talking Northampton made 'country' boot here, mud, rain, wind, etc). So I'm after something more like an oil, rather than wax. Dubbin is a possibility, but that is recommended for smooth leathers (see Dunkleman) only, and my boots are made in an oiled zug grain leather. Searching, other possibilities seem to be Mink Oil, Fiebings, Neatsfoot oil, Alaskan Bear Grease (I kid you not) and other lotions and potions. At the moment I'm using a regular shoe cream and adding dubbin before I go walking.

Any recommendations?
 

The Silverfox

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The problem with more traditional wax-based products I would think are that these are hard waxes that are meant to give a hard polishable surface on the shoe/boot, and therefore will crack and fall off when put to some strain. Oils I guess would be an alternative, but those again might be too liquid, you probably want something with a combination of being soft and greasy, soft enough not to crack, but greasy enough to not run off but instead stay on the boot.

I would think you would need a heavy duty beeswax-based thing.

This is what I use to waterproof my huntingboots, and I hunt in Norway, so they see some abuse. Of course, this is not a polish and is purely functional How much it feeds the leather I don't know, but it seals the boot up nicely to the point where it's as waterproof as a rubber-boot in any case. It's very soft, so won't crack up or anything, but as I said it's not for aesthetic purposes and I'm not sure I'd use it on something I needed to look nice. Can't tell you what's in it and don't remember the manufacturer, but it's mostly beeswax, it's has the color and opaqueness of honey and it doesn't smell of anything strong like turpentine etc.
 

rabiesinfrance

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Tricky one - don't want to over soften the leather which web browsing tells me can be a problem with Neatsfoot Oil and Mink Oil. I've contacted Dunkleman for advice - they should know. The makers, surprisingly, stick to the polish or cream line. No specific advice for working leathers.
 

rabiesinfrance

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Thanks for the suggestions. There's so much ambiguity in product descriptions. See attached example: http://www.dunkelman.com/viewproduct.php?productid=63 For all leather products, but on the jar smooth leather! Stuck if your boots are grain. I might go for the Montana, but part of me thinks dubbin will do, stuff it! Over to you Dunkleman! Clarify.
 

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